July 5, 1975: Dance to the lyrics!

Dance to the lyrics!

LAST WEEK I began a discussion about the many differences between dee-jaying in clubs and at mobile gigs. Until you’ve had time to join in – as I hope some of you other D-Js will – I’ll just continue with a few more of my own observations.

The primary aim of a discotheque is to entertain its audience, whether in a club or at a party. Obviously it’s a great buzz to turn people on to as yet unknown sounds, but unfortunately most people want to dance to tunes that they know. One of the very first things that I worked out when I started was that – amazing though it may seem – your average audience doesn’t dance to the music, it dances to the words. People dance to their memory of a song!

In clubs it’s much easier to play something that’s not well known – the speakers are likely to be mounted up higher and to have better penetration than at a mobile do. At many parties, people want to talk while they dance and are less likely to concentrate on the music. Consequently, unless you’ve got a super-hip crowd, at a mobile gig it’s always best to keep it obvious and simple with lots of hits to begin with – then later, when the talk has quietened down and you have felt out the crowd’s prevalent taste, get more adventurous. There can be no hard and fast rule of course other than to keep ’em happy and keep ’em dancing, but if you can entertain them AND yourself at the same time you should be really cookin’!


A perennial fave since its release in ’71, Burundi Black, Part Two – that’s the un – mucked – about – with African drums B -side of the BURUNDI STEIPHENSON BLACK single (Barclay BAR 3) – has just started to get much requested again, presumably as a result of its recent re-issue. Skip the chanting intro and segue (or dramatically cut directly into it) from another suitable raver. You shouldn’t be disappointed, although following it can be a trick!

New Spins

Lynsey’s whimsey wins

LYNSEY DE PAUL: Rhythm And Blue Jean Baby (Jet 755)
One reaction report coming up: It works! Lynsey’s bit of thumpalong candyfloss whimsey may be lightweight but in a mixed age group setting it has just the right happy beat and straight Pop gaiety. That doesn’t mean you must rush out and buy it today . . . just wait until it hits which it will!

GRIMMS: Backbreaker (DJM DJS 393)
Silliness from the Scaffold / Bonzos refugees, this Mud / Showaddywaddy / Rubettes send-up about a wrestling girlfriend is not only very funny but also great doo-wop singing that’s worthy of the Marcels / Rivingtons / Excellents. My fave of the week, except the next two are kinda nice too.

AL MATTHEWS: Fool (CBS 3429)
For a UK production (by writer Pierre Tubbs), this bouncily clomping Four Seasons / Philly vocal group gem is remarkable. Not to be missed – In fact do your darndest to make it the smash it deserves to be! Compulsive play it again quality. 

SHEER ELEGANCE: Going Downtown (Pye 7N 25689)
Brassy intro and then an incredibly punchy bass line behind Bev Gordon’s great husky Soul singing – another notably UK production, though less American in Sound. Who’s that bassist?

COMMODORES: Slippery When Wet / The Bump (Tamla Motown TMG 952)
Few funky discos can be without these two hunks of the wonderful stuff they use . . . and rightly so. The Commodores are shaping as UK Motown’s saviours.

VICKI SUE ROBINSON: Baby, Now That I’ve Found You (RCA 2573)
Yes, the Foundations’ oldie, given an American updating that’ll find favour with Carol Douglas / Gloria Gaynor fans, and shouldn’t disappoint traditionalists either.

DEMIS ROUSSOS: Midnight Is The Time I Need You (Philips 600946)
Getting New York disco action – and not surprisingly, as this untypical busy tempo hustler’s very Barry White apart from Demis’s somewhat shriller singing! Try it, do.

GWEN McCRAE: Rockin’ Chair (President PT 434)
Already monstrous Stateside, Gwen’s slower re-working of “Rock Your Baby” (which it honestly sounds like) now finally seems set to hit here a year exactly after hubby George’s original.

CHUCK JACKSON: These Chains Of Love (Pye DDS 116)
Vintage though simple stuff from the then mighty but under-rated Chuck. This gruff thumper for Northern fans actually has the classic Any Day Now slowie on the flip.

Straight from the States

GLORIA GAYNOR: Walk On By (MGM M14808)
First of this week’s US imports, Gloria’s reworking of the Dionne Warwick oldie has a really useful ambiguous cantering rhythm that’s suitable for fast and slow dancing. The Bacharach & David song’s lovely still and Glo does it right.

THE REFLECTIONS: Three Steps From True Love (Capitol 4078)
A New York disco smash, the J R. Bailey co-penned / produced bouncer sounds so like the Detroit Emeralds that it’s uncanny. If you dug Feel The Need In Me you’ll obviously love it!

CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR: Dreaming A Dream (De-Lite DEP 1570)
The New York Sound sez the label and it sure is right ‘cos this Affair is a disco giant there. Archie Bell Tighten Up rhythms and weezling synthesizer push along the pretty instrumental and it’s truly infectious.

UK Disco Top 20 – July 5, 1975

01 01 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle – Avco
02 02 Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp – Brunswick
03 07 10cc – I’m Not In Love – Mercury
04 08 Hot Chocolate – Disco Queen – Rak
05 NE Sister Sledge – Mama Never Told Me – Atlantic
06 03 Stylistics – Sing Baby Sing – Avco
07 NE Johnny Nash – Tears On My Pillow – CBS
08 NE Ray Stevens – Misty – Janus
09 06 Blackbyrds – Walking In Rhythm – Fantasy
10 NE Frankie Valli – Swearin’ To God – Private Stock
11 NE Showaddywaddy – Three Steps To Heaven – Bell
12 NE Wings – Listen To What The Man Said – Capitol
13 10 Status Quo – Roll Over Lay Down – Vertigo
14 NE Chi-Lites – Have You Seen Her – Brunswick
15 NE Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’ – RSO
16 04 Tony Camillo’s Bazuka – Dynomite – A&M
17 16 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – EMI (Import)
18 12 Gary Glitter – Doing Alright With The Boys – Bell
19 05 Disco Tex – I Wanna Dance Wit Choo – Chelsea
20 NE Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Get Out (And Let Me Cry) – Route

Rimshots – 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle – All Platinum
Rubettes – Foe-Dee-O-Dee -State
Brian Hyland – Sealed With A Kiss – ABC

Hamilton’s Disco Top 10

1 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – Columbia
2 Ray Stevens – Misty – Janus
3 Burundi Black – Burundi Black Part 2 – Barclay
4 Rubettes – Foe-Dee-O-Dee – State
5 Barry White – I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To – 20th Century
6 Showaddywaddy – Three Steps To Heaven – Bell
7 Lyn Paul – It Oughta Sell A Million – Polydor
8 Doobie Brothers – Take Me In Your Arms – Warner Bros.
9 Status Quo – Roll Over Lay Down – Vertigo
10 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle – Avco

Sandy Denny – Whispering Grass – Island
Pete Wingfield – Eighteen With A Bullet – Island
Marshall Tucker Band – This Ol’ Cowboy – Capricorn


. . . great easy-rolling get – it – on rock, SASSAFRAS Wheelin’ ‘n’ Dealin’ (Chrysalis CHS 2063) came out in March and Peter Dunn (Haverfordwest, Pembs) like me is still playing It . . . Pete Wingfield’s “other” record by him and Jo Jammer, OLYMPIC RUNNERS Drag It Over Here c/w Mac B. Coolie (London HLU 10488) is getting spun along with such Funky folk as KAY-GEES, FATBACK BAND and JAMES BROWN by Les Spaine (Bootle, Lancs) – whatever’s the North coming to?!! … South African show tune IPI ‘N’ TOMBIA The Warrior (Philips 6006444) goes great guns for John J. Sawers (Stevenston, Ayrshire) – it’s too showbiz for me tho’ . . . Chris Hill (Canvey Island, Essex) keeps plugging DIZZY HEIGHTS We Belong Together (Philips 6006461) — I wonder why?! . . . FRANKIE VALLI Swearin’ To God came out on some DJ copies with full 10:09 version as 33 1/3 flip. Mark Rymann (Porthcawl, Mid – Glamorgan) and Colin King (Sale, Cheshire) are just two jocks going with LINDA CARR & THE LOVE SQUAD Highwire (Chelsea 2005025). Pop-Soul trio of AMERICAN GYPSY Angel Eyes (BTM sbt 101), CHAPTER THREE I’ll Never Be The Same (Pye 7N 25680 ) and THE MOMENT OF TRUTH Helplessly (Pye 7N 25679) get ’em at it for Jason Mayes (Spankies, Glasgow) . . . Kokomo-backed ROGER DALTREY Get Your Love (Polydor 2058593) is breaking for Andy Scurrah (Wellington Arms, near Basingstoke) . . . Doctor John (Newport, Salop) has to be the obscurity king – if you can get away with the fabulously subtle Brazilian Rhythms of Portuguese – sung BAIANO & OS NOVOS CAETANOS Vo Bate Pa Tu (Barclay BAR 32), you’re a luckier man than I, Doc! (It really is a great record too) . . . keep ’em coming on the Hot Line but – please – no wishful thinking, make every record one that’s had good audience reaction.

3 thoughts on “July 5, 1975: Dance to the lyrics!”

  1. Great to see you filling in the blanks from the missing 1975 charts. Looking back it’s interesting to note the high percentage of mainstream crappy wally pop hits that appear on the chart- it all appears so unsophisticated when compared to the more developed scene of 78/79 and a world away from the highly specialised dance music scene of the 21st century. The pop hits included are presumably down to the large number of mobile DJs who contributed to the chart data. The sad truth is that most folks did dance to Status Quo & Showaddywaddy back then! There were also fewer club venues in 75 by comparison to the more developed club scene that would dominate later in the decade and become a dominant cultural force. Reviewing the chart it is fascinating to see Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes “Get Out” on the chart- this was a massive hit on the Northern Soul scene at the time. Great new releases that are superb examples of the early disco era from the birth place of the disco movement, Manhattan- Gloria’s version of “Walk on By” & Crown Heights Affair “Dreaming a Dream” Also worth noting a fine example of UK home grown product from Al Mathews “Fool” which was a great record and was one of the few UK recordings that was highly credible at the time when most other home grown records were seen as being naff and nowhere near the quality of US productions. One surprise is the review of Vicki Sue Robinson’s version of “Baby now that I Found You” released a full year before her iconic “Turn the Beat Around”. I had no idea she recorded this!


  2. That DJ in Shropshire playing the Portuguese tune really was ahead of the game! It sounds like the kind of Latin Jazz thing that got popular in London and the South East from about 1982/83 (it probably kicked off in the hazz room at Caister) and eventually produced nights when all you seemed to hear was obscure Latin Jazz.


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